Maldives and ADB
In the Spotlight
In 2016–2018, ADB operations will continue to focus on (i) improving regional connectivity, (ii) boosting cross-border trade, and (iii) strengthening regional energy cooperation.
Maldives graduated to the status of middle-income country in 2011 and it has some of the highest economic, social, and health indicators in South Asia. With a narrow economic base that is largely dependent on tourism, the economy remains vulnerable to external shocks and there are pockets of poverty on remote atolls.
A revival in tourism and sustained construction and infrastructure spending at a pace higher than expected will likely extend this year’s growth rate to 2016, which is an upgrade from the earlier projection.
This development effectiveness brief presents how ADB's operations in the Maldives has helped it progress from the United Nations’ Least Developed Country designation to Middle Income Country status as of January 2011.
The Maldives consists of over 1,190 islands, spanning approximately 900 kilometers along the Indian Ocean. Only 188 of these islands are inhabited, and the population is concentrated in a few of the larger islands. Malé, the capital, is home to 39% of the country’s total population of roughly 341,200 people, and only 19 other islands have populations exceeding 2,000 people.
In recent decades, the Maldives has enjoyed sustained growth, driven largely by its luxury tourism industry. However, as an island economy of relatively small scale, the Maldives is extremely vulnerable to external economic shocks and the negative impacts of climate change.
Since 1978, ADB has been a major development partner of the Government of the Maldives. ADB operations have focused on capacity building in public sector financial management, and support for transport, energy, and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.